In these posts I have been bemoaning the destruction of the jungles in South East Asia (to make way for palm oil plantations). The Amazon basin is still being razed although last year for the first time there was a reduction in the rate of clearing. Australia has cleared most of its original old growth forests too. It seems to myself and lots of people that developers will always be given preference in any trade off between development and preserving nature – and I don’t think that it matters what political party is in power. Money always speaks louder than birds can tweet.
However, there is an amazing woman who speaks for the trees. Her name is Wangari Maathai from Kenya. As Sammy Cheboi wrote in the Daily Nation, December 24, 2009
She is the first woman in Central and Eastern Africa to hold a PhD; the first woman to head a university department in Kenya; the first African woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize; and the 12th UN Messenger of Peace — with a special focus on the environment and climate change.
Wangari has devoted her life to saving trees and to this effect she has founded two movements –
The Green Belt Movement – Kenya and the Green Belt Movement International. These organisations are focused on the planting of trees, environmental conservation, and women’s rights.
In October 1989, Maathai learned of a plan to construct the 60-storey Kenya Times Media Trust Complex in Uruhu Park in Kenya. Despite vehement opposition from the government, she was able to stop the development which she equated with building in the middle of Central Park, New York. Her name was subsequently placed on a list of high profile assassination targets in Kenya.
To read more about her go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wangari_Maathai. There are many websites that laud her work.
I have previously said that a couple of dozen men with rifles can do a lot of damage, but in this case, one determined woman has also done much good.
Catskills Animal Sanctuary
I was pleased to read that the kind donor who had previously offered to match all donations made to 1st January, 2010 up to $1.5 million, has generously offered to extend the offer to the end of 2010. So please consider a small donation to the sanctuary as these people are really committed to helping farm animals http://www.casanctuary.org. I know that many people are distressed by the thought of horses being sent to the slaughter-house. Well, a donation to the Catskills Animal Sanctuary will certainly help save some horses, not to mention the fact that they have just rescued a huge number of goats which are now living in safety. You can see the animals they rescue on this link http://www.casanctuary.org/cas/animals. I think they also have vegan cooking classes at the sanctuary. If you live nearby you might like to contact them to find out. They have just employed a vegan chef.
Talking about vegan food, have you ever eaten the delicious Japanese snack called mochi? This is pounded rice made into rice cakes and dried. If I eat two for breakfast I find that I am completely satisfied until lunch time and that’s saying something as I’m a greedy pig by nature. Mochi are absolutely luscious grilled – they puff up and are soft and creamy inside. Here is a description of mochi being made http://www.squidoo.com/how-to-make-mochi. If you get a chance, buy a bag of white mochi from a Japanese supermarket where it is much cheaper. Mochi from health food stores tends to be quite expensive.